Stuffed Round Zucchini with Red Pepper & Tomato Sauce
So small and so adorable these little round zucchini! And impossible for me to resist today at the market hall... I didn't know what I was going to do with them, but just had to have them!
By the time that it was thinking of preparing supper though, after having had a pleasant afternoon... Which included having eaten a VERY pleasant and sinful slice of cake... I decided I needed to keep things basic and simple... And did so as you can see... And I also managed to make them satisfying and delicious too!
The typical stuffing used for most dishes in Sicily, usually consists mainly of bread crumbs, onion and herbs... So why try to reinvent the wheel? I didn't. But I did add a touch of bacon and used salted ricotta instead, just to make sure that the mild zucchini got a little help in the flavor department! And of course, the absolute best extra was the fruity pepper and tomato sauce! so tasty... But so easy at the same time!
Just a few ingredients turned into quite a lot of supper as you can see! For 2 nice portions, I needed 3 of the little zucchini, but as you can see, these really were small ones! And obviously, you can use regular zucchini too, it make no difference in the method. In fact, there is no real point, again with this recipe, in being too strict about the quantities...
No 2 zucchini are alike and I have no way of knowing how large yours will be... So let's just be sensible and say that you will need zucchini, onion, bacon, red pepper, tomatoes, bread crumbs, parsley, basil, salted ricotta, salt, pepper and olive oil. You are basically re-filling the zu with the content that you hollow out of them anyway... You can not go all that far wrong! Haha!
The bread crumbs go to add body to the soft zucchini, to soak up all of the flavors... And of course also, to soak up that lovely sauce and to compliment and add contrast to the zucchini... It's a match made in heaven!
Begin, of course, by washing, halving and hollowing out the zucchini.
Next, finely chop the zucchini that you have scooped out, the onion, the pepper and the tomatoes.
Fry half of the chopped onion, with the pepper and the tomatoes, in a little olive oil, then add plenty of chopped basil, a little salt, and plenty of pepper, sizzle until the onion becomes translucent and then add enough boiling water to just cover everything. Reduce to a low simmer, turn on the oven in advance... And then get busy with the filling.
In another small saucepan, fry together the other half of the onion, with the finely chopped zucchini and bacon, but with no extra fat or oil... Simply keep stirring and it will soon soften up and become moist and juicy.
Next, add plenty of breadcrumbs, some finely chopped parsley and grated, salted ricotta cheese. You will need roughly the same amount of bread crumbs as you have onion and zucchini. Stir together until everything is well combined and then spoon into the hollowed out zucchini.
Set the stuffed zucchini halves into the sauce,add a little Mose salt, pepper and salted ricotta, drizzle generously with olive oil, cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes at 180 C.
All you need to do, after 20-25 minutes, is to remove the foil, which has helped cook everything through and keep all of the flavors trapped... And let the topping brown under the broiler. and all you need to do then, is to rush them to the table and enjoy!